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Do Not Collect $200

Friday, 22 February 2008

So when we were little, DadGiraffe would sometimes gather us around the kitchen table for some games. Sometimes it was blackjack or poker with his Dad’s old set of poker chips. Other times it was for a board game. And there’s nothing like a little Monopol to encourage some friendly rivalry.

Yes, you read that correctly. Monopol. The Israeli version of Monopoly. Today, Hasbo (the parent company of Parker Bros. since 1991) produces Monopol which pretty much looks just like Monopoly but with Hebrew writing and Israeli towns and streets.

mono1_a

But the version we used? Let’s just say it was a cheap copy of the original. And we loved it. In fact, I was rather shocked to discover (at some embarassingly old age, I must add) that there was an American version of my favourite game.

Yeah, I know. I really had such a strange upbringing.

Anyway, Monopoly has always had a special place in my heart. So I was really excited to learn that a new world edition was in the works. With the public able to vote for the cities to be included. Within a short amount of time, a worldwide movement swept the Jewish world (thanks to an Israeli lobbying group, One Jerusalem) as the international Jewish community managed to get Jerusalem in the top twenty cities.

And then it happened. Israel was eliminated.

4th place

That’s right. Just like that, she just disappeared from the list. It seems that the Pro-Palestinian camp got wind of Jerusalem being noted as a city in Israel and protested. After all, they claim Jerusalem as their own as well.

What to do, what to do…

poortax

First Hasbro removed Israel leaving Jerusalem as the only city without a country.

But that didn’t really solve the problem. So now…all countries have been removed.

Blogger Yehuda asked Hasbro why they suddenly removed Israel from the Jerusalem entry in the World Monopoly vote and received the following response:

Parker Brothers, the makers of board game Monopoly has embarked upon an exercise to find the world¹s most popular cities as voted for by the public. It was never our intention to print any countries on the final boards and any online tags were merely used as a geographic reference to help with city selection. This is clearly stated in the terms and conditions of our campaign.

We would never want to enter into any political debate. We apologise for any upset this has caused our Monopoly fans and hope that they continue to support their favourite cities, all of which are deserving of a place on our final board – Monopoly Here and Now : The World Edition which will be released in Autumn 2008. The 20 pre-selected cities with the highest worldwide votes on February 29 2008 will make it onto the board. Plus voters will have from February 29 to March 9 2008 to vote on the most nominated Wildcard cities. Only the top two will make it on the board.

Yehuda replied that “the decision to leave Israel or remove Israel is in any case a political decision, and I would just like to know the impetus behind the decision to suddenly remove it.”

Their answer:

All country tags are currently being removed from the websites (there are 37 translations and it takes a while) ­ cities will only be represented by their common name as they will appear on the board. I hope this does not stop you from supporting Jerusalem a very worthy and wonderful city.

Yehuda reports on his blog that “according to Hasbro, the decision to pull Israel was as a result of complaints by Palestinian activists. The decision was made by a mid-level employee without consulting upper management. The later decision to rectify he situation by pulling all country names was made as a result of pro-Israeli complaints.”

Hasbro now states that there was never any intention for the countries to appear on the final board. Rather they were for clarification purposes only.

So that no one should mistake Rome, NY for Rome, Italy, maybe??

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Saturday, 23 February 2008 8:10 pm

    I noticed a couple of days ago that the country names had disappeared from the entries. Luckily, I know that Jerusalem was the Israeli city… and not home of the J Artichoke.

  2. Frume Sarah permalink
    Sunday, 24 February 2008 11:56 am

    Yeah, but not everyone is as knowledgable 🙂

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